i normally hate goodbyes.
that's no joke.
new year's eve has never been one of 'em.
it is immediately replaced by a new everything,
even though it's really just the same old sh!t.
except for the calendar.
that's a brand-spankin' freshie-fresh new one.
here's the thing-
this year was a lot like the every other one for the past half a decade.
i took a few wins, i suffered a few losses,
and mostly, i just endured what the days had in store for me,
it wasn't as though nothing happened.
heck, a whole helluva lot went on from the first to the last:
i got way better at cooking and baking-
the sourdough bread game has transformed my kitchen for the better, forever;
i got (somehow) way worse at girls-
turns out, there was actually still room for devolution and dissolution;
i worked way too much-
it's the right amount, but it's the worst feeling;
i walked this F*ing dog for hundreds of miles-
crabtree is the bane and boon of my very spare spare moments;
i carried heavyweight resentments that broadened my shoulders;
i dropped myopic regrets and broadened my horizons;
the whole year went by in a flash,
and each glittering twinkle took another 'nother hair from my head away with it.
i'm balder, and grayer,
and my face is scarred;
my eyes are squinting,
which might make some of you suspect those are laugh lines on the edges....
they're not, at least, unless getting laughed AT causes those cracks and creases
on my careworn cranial carapace..
it's been a year.
just like all the always.
just like the next one.
it's all really happening,
and while there will be plenty of time for reflection,
as i drive across new england tomorrow,
for a little post-winter-break hostage drop-off exchange-
today is a day for eating some mutha-'ucking expert vegan treats!
that's a better use of my energy.
and the energy i expect to derive from this latest, greatest, last-of-the-year delight
is copious and capacious and fortuitous, and fruity in all the right ways.
check the sayonara-citrus-type teleport:
lemon and orange and satsuma(my darlin', those are a..k.a. clementines)
cake is great.
cake is good.
cake is what's poppin'.
cake is the TRUTH.
this one is extra-especially elite,
in that it's fluffy, and it's delicate, and it's dope,
all at the same time,
and all while taking that wintry spirit into account,
and then dominating it with the sunshiniest citrus spritz
that i could physically sprankle on top.
what sort of 2016 send-off would it really even be
if it didn't take taste and texture to eleven?
i mean, c'mon, man-
rules is rules.
i got the fancy bundt pan.
those things are molto tricky
it's like somebody wants you to feel like a failure,
they're playing it realllllly low key.
before you do anything else,
spray down that non-stick surface with MORE non-stick sauce.
if you've got access to the 'baking spray' use it.
this is no time to worry about health-supportive environmentalism.
if you do that, you'll end up with a doo-doo buttery cake.
and flour the sh!t outta that nonstick saucy-sprayed non-stick surface,
trust me on this one-
too much is the right amount.
that pan wants to eff your A*.
don't let it.
preheat your oven to 360F.
let's get into it-
1 stick vegan butts;
1 1/2 cup sugar;
1/2 tsp salt;
3/4 cup vanilla soy yogurt;
1 tsp vanilla;
1 tsp lemon extract;
1/2 tsp orange extract;
^whisk all of that up reallllly well^
3 cups flour;
1 T bakey soda;
zest of one small lemon and 1/2 of one orange;
3/4 cup soymilk + 1/4+ cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
(i used clementines, and a mineola, because i can't resist complicating everything)
^whip it into an airy frenzy, friends^
and spread it gently around the rim of your fancy bundty butthole.....
that baby is gonna need to bake FOREVER.
i mean it.
like, closer to an hour, or maybe more, until a toothpick comes out cleam.
here's the tricky part-
it has to cool completely,
but it never will, until you pop it out of the pan.
when you pop it out of the pan,
it will hang on for dear life,
and try it's hardest to make you look like a chump in front of your people.
don't let it.
aesthetics or not,
that cake is cut off from the full-frame photo because it had a horrible deformity
where it refused to let go and come along peacefully.
it didn't taste any worse,
but i found that last petty gesture fitting for this past petty year.
one mean-spirited ugly little dent for the road.
thanks for that.
i fixed it with frosting.
i cold-shouldered it's sh!tty snit back at it,
with citrus spirited icing.
kapowdered sugar, o.j., lemon juice, vanilla, orange extract,
and clementine zest made an expert drizz,
and it really took the overall hottness well past the impending '17,
and maybe even all the way to 2027.
to finish it off right,
i microplaned all the zest that was left all over the top.
i'm not playing around, man.
not when it comes to treats.
i hate goodbyes.
but i love new year's eve.
my kids and i will be burning everything,
and eating everything else,
and staying up,
without that televised big-baloney ball-drop,
to wish each other all the good fortune and happiness
we know better than to expect.
there will be NO alcohol.
because that is for the diaperiest doo-doobuttery waterbabies,
and we can't hang out with that.
learn the rules, kiddos,
it's okay not to drink.
it's more than okay,
it's basically mandatory within these hallowed hollow halls
we call the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
it's all really happening-
and we're spanning the times together,
as a team,
as a trio,
plus a dog,
because that's what we DO.
never quiet, never soft.....